The cooks at Smokey J's prep handmade, slow-smoked barbecue dishes, making their own sauces and sausages in-house. They rub meats with brown sugar and a secret house spice rub. Pulled pork and brisket are slow-smoked for 12 hours in a medley of maple, mesquite, and whiskey barrel wood chips, and collard greens and baked beans simmer in a chicken and pork broth. Zesty spices and sauces augment many of the meats, such as the piquant North Carolina sauce and the house dry rub.
The executive chef at Back Forty Texas BBQ Roadhouse and Saloon scripts a menu of authentic Texas recipes that pile plates high with tender meats and down-home sides. As diners stroll into the bright red roadhouse, noses sniff out smoky tendrils emerging from custom Southern Pride cookers where pork ribs, beef brisket, and barbecue chicken turn slowly for 14 hours, much like exceptionally sleepy astronauts.
Cuisine Type: Barbeque
Most popular offering: Smoked brisket
Reservations: Not offered
Delivery / Take-out Available: Yes
Alcohol: Beer and wine only
Number of Tables: 11?25
Outdoor Seating: No
Parking: Parking lot
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Pro Tip: We are a counter-service restaurant
In your own words, how would you describe your menu?
Our menu is simple, and its focus is on on the meat. We also have an amazing draft beer selection and are constantly rotating our taps, so we keep an eye out for variety and seasonality. We also select beers we feel pair well with our food. We make our sides and sauces from scratch, as well, and always use fresh ingredients in everything we make.
What made you want to work with food? When did you first develop that passion?
My passion began when I first started eating barbecue around the United States. I developed an awareness of how barbecue is done regionally throughout the country, and that inspired me to do my own backyard cooking?and eventually, to open my own restaurant.
Today, the Dickey’s Barbecue Pit sign may be a ubiquitous symbol representing good ol’ Texas barbecue, but when Travis Dickey first opened his Dallas shop in 1941, the sign had to share space with advertisements to help pay rent. In the 70 years since then, the Dickeys have done well for themselves, with their initial store spawning a slew of franchises throughout the country. Though the barbecue at each outpost is no longer under the hand of one of Dickey’s descendants, each shop still smokes their own meats in-house to create the signature Texan flavor that infuses their briskets, pulled pork, and fall-off-the-bone ribs.
Meals can come in any size, from the a la carte sandwiches to platters that incorporate a chosen number of meats with a buttery roll, pickle, ice cream, and two homestyle sides. Whether serving up their dishes in the dining room or packing them up for take-away or catering, the staff ensures that each client gets a taste of Texas home cooking without the hassle rubbing every dish on a campfire crock-pot.
Spiced up by the saucy skills of chef Howie “Bulldog” Kleinberg, who was on Top Chef Miami, Bulldog Barbecue's menu features no-frills, North Carolina–style barbecue. Hearty options—such as the popular beef brisket ($18), shrimp and grits ($18), and baby back ribs ($15–$23), all of which come with Carolina slaw, cornbread, and your choice of side—satisfy stomachs with unmatched sass. Non-carnivores can focus on the selection of fresh salads or a smoked portobello burger with caramelized onions and balsamic mayo ($9). Unlike most restaurants 500 miles beneath the earth's surface, Bulldog Barbecue provides drink items, allowing guests to fight off dehydration with made-to-order lemonade ($2); a root-beer float ($4); or a choice of red wines, white wines, or bubblies.
After walking under the turquoise awning and past the brick façade of Abby's Grill, diners can dig into grilled seafood and pork marinated in the restaurant's secret sauce. The polished surfaces of wood tables gleam in the light streaming through the eatery's tall windows, which provide opportunities to watch passersby or attempt to intimidate parking meters with icy glares.